Wenham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Wenham family

The surname Wenham was first found in Suffolk at Great Wenham (Wenham-Combustor) or Little Wenham, villages and parishes that date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where they were collectively listed as Wenham. [1] The place name possibly means "homestead or enclosure with pastureland" from the Old English "wynn" + "ham." [2] Little Wenham is home to Wenham Castle, a castellated manor house, one of the oldest houses in England built by John de Villabus in the 13th century. One of the first records of the surname was found in Surrey in the year 1194 when William and Hawise Wenham held estates in that county. [3]

Early History of the Wenham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wenham research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1525, 1455, 1487, 1730 and 1712 are included under the topic Early Wenham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wenham Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wenham, Wenam, Wennam, Wennum, Wenum and others.

Early Notables of the Wenham family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Jane Wenham (died 1730), generally regarded as one of the last witches in England. Her trial took place in 1712 and was reported widely in printed tracts of the period. She was convicted, but the judge...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wenham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wenham migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wenham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Wenham, who landed in Virginia in 1665 [4]

Australia Wenham migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Wenham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Wenham, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Robert Wenham, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Agincourt" [6]
  • Emily Wenham, aged 25, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Agincourt" in 1850 [6]
  • Mary Ann Wenham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Agincourt" in 1850 [6]

New Zealand Wenham migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Wenham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Wenham, aged 32, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [7]
  • John Wenham, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Wenham (post 1700) +

  • John William Wenham (1913-1996), English-born, American Anglican Bible scholar
  • Jane Wenham (b. 1927), English actress who from 1957 to 1961 was married to the actor Albert Finney
  • Kelly Wenham (b. 1983), English actress, best known for her starring role in the 2013 film Dracula: The Dark Prince
  • Stuart Wenham (1957-2017), Australian director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Silicon Photovoltaics at the University of New South Wales
  • Francis Herbert Wenham (1824-1908), British marine engineer
  • Brian Wenham, British Controller of BBC Two (1978-1982)
  • Zoë Wenham (b. 1994), British auto racing driver
  • Revd Dr David Wenham (b. 1945), British theologian and author, son of John Wenham
  • Gordon Wenham (b. 1943), British Old Testament scholar and writer, son of John Wenham
  • David Wenham (b. 1965), Australian actor, best known for his role as Faramir in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The AGINCOURT 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Agincourt.htm
  7. ^ Archives New Zealand Micro 5019. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Alfred. Retrieved from http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ourstuff/Alfred1864.htm


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